5 Must-Have Tips for the Modern Presentation


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Regardless if you are presenting at one of the upcoming national conferences, running a training for your students or holding a workshop at your institution these 5 tips are mandatory for the modern presentation. These quick tips will link you to all the resources, how-to’s and teach you how to take your presentation from good to great.

Tip #1 - Invest in a presentation remote. I can’t tell you how many times we have all sat through presentations where the presenter stands in the corner of the room using their pointer finger to advance to the next slide. Here is a list ranging from $15-$60+. I recommend the Targus for about $30 and if you want to spend a little more for features like scrolling and audio controls then invest in this Keyspan by Tripp Lite.

Tip #2 - If you are co-presenting here are a few suggestions. Split yourself on each side of the room and as you each have important points to make walk to the middle or back of the room to keep the audience engaged with you - “work the room.” Also, create a spreadsheet: 1st column number down for every slide you have. Then put a short title or subject of each slide in the second column and in the third column put the name of the person presenting that slide. Memorize it and color code it. Print it out and put it somewhere visible in case you get lost. Here’s an example from a recent workshop we did on Creating Engaging Social Media Content for the Maryland Student Affairs conference.

Tip #3 - In Apple Keynote you can add presenter notes and you can also set up a “current slide” and “next slide” that will display on your macbook so you don’t have to read off paper, notecards or the screen behind you. You can even choose to have time remaining - it’s a perfect way to set up a confidence monitor in your room. Here is a great short and detailed version of how to set it up. Also, bring your own laptop, get to the room at least 15-30 minutes early and set up your laptop to practice. Bring extra batteries, small speakers and your own macbook adapter if needed.

Tip #4 - DON’T USE BULLET POINTS! Now for those of you already getting away from bullets and powerpoint or keynote templates...thank you. For those of you who have not made the transition yet, it’s like removing a bandaid: you have to do it quick and it will be painless with a small learning curve. This summary from a one sheet I created for my “Rethink Your Next Presentation workshop” will quickly give you resources, books and 5 Apple Keynote tips.

Tip #5 - If you do have a handout, it should be no more than one page front and back and pass it out at the very end. The handout should not be your slides because if created & presented right, your slides are useless without you speaking to them. If you do want to share them upload them to Speakerdeck or Slideshare prior to your talk, create a customize link and add it to the one sheet or to your live presentation so the audience can go back to the office and view them, especially if you have specific examples on your slides you want to share.

These 5 tips are certainly in-depth and take courage to try but believe me it is worth it. If I can help now or in the future please do not hesitate to contact me and you can view a few of my recent slidedecks I uploaded to slideshare. Happy conference season!

Kevin O’Connell, Founder - The Niche Movement

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Download The Niche Movement's Guide to Slide Design